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Poster: light into ashes Date: Jul 8, 2009 3:54am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Garcia Talks About Wake of the Flood and Free Music, 1973

In writing my Allmans post, I came across a couple short Cameron Crowe interviews of Garcia which looked interesting....

The first one from August '73, when they were recording Wake of the Flood, catches Jerry in a positive mood:

"We're recording close to two albums' worth of material," Garcia explains as he chain-smokes his umpteenth filterless Camel of the interview, "and distill it into one record, leaving the rest in the can. It's funny, you know, but I can't really pin down what kind of album it's gonna be. I never have been able to tell with past albums either. When I get the final copy home and listen to it, then I'll be able to look back and see what it is. Right now, all I know is that the tunes are all good. The tunes that me and Robert Hunter wrote are the best we've ever written. For sure."

Jerry is the first to admit that he is a somewhat less than prolific songwriter, but it was last January ['73] that he underwent a creative "spasm" that left him with seven new songs. The band was about to begin rehearsals the next week in their deserted and dilapidated Point Reyes rehearsal hall and Jerry, who undoubtedly felt the crush for new material, came up with the goods. "Sometimes," he says, "I can just crank 'em out and other times ....nothing. Like I could have a spurt in which I'd write four new songs in one week, and in the next six months I wouldn't be able to put two words together. It's that kind of thing."

The Dead's newest tunes, especially 'We Are The Eyes Of The World', are surprisingly complex and some-times jazz-oriented compositions. At a recent performance at Universal Ampitheatre in Los Angeles, the song stood out from the regular standards with ease. "They're a little more sophisticated in terms of structure than our other ones, the new tunes," Jerry admits. "But they're Grateful Dead all the way. I mean they sound like The Grateful Dead. I can't really look at them objectively, but I feel that they're better. It's hard to tell what direction they're moving in. They're really sort of dispersed in that they are widely-patterned. All the tunes are very different from each other and the ones that preceded them as well."

He also notes that the Dead are playing more live shows than they'd like (in '73!), and one goal in forming their own record company is to be able to "pick and choose" which shows to play....

The next interview, from January '74, finds Jerry in a very crabby mood:

"Fuck 'people's music'," laughs Jerry Garcia from a reclining seat in the plush, wood-finished business offices of the band. "I mean, I thought it was a dumb discussion even when it was the big thing awhile back to talk about how music should be free... that music belongs to the people and musicians rip them off. That kind of thing really irks me.

"It's like, in order to get so you can play music you have to sacrifice a lot of what would have been your normal life. You know what I mean? .... It's not a thing you just do. If that were so, everybody'd be making their own music and there wouldn't be professional musicians. There'd be no need for them. For someone to deny the fact that you spent a certain amount of your life working on some sort of discipline and learning how to play... that's the rip-off.... Anytime someone comes down on artists and claims their work on any level, I think that's pure bullshit. There's been too many great musicians who died poor. People's music... it just ain't so."

On other issues he's become more negative....back in Aug '73 he said, "We have nothing against the way Warner Brothers have treated us. They've never interfered with our music." But in '74 he sounds very bitter about having ever worked with a record company.

When the Bear's Choice album was being promoted he initially said, "It's a side of the group that never went on record" - but later he didn't want to hear it and said he couldn't care less about it: "As far as I'm concerned, it's something we owe them. I'm not interested in making Warner Brothers any richer. In a way, I'm glad it's a low-profile, non-success record. It just means there won't be any more energy going to WB via us. The music is what it is....I might not like it, but I played it. If they were no good, it's too late to take those notes back."

"Grateful Dead albums have never been representative of the Grateful Dead. The live albums come the closest, but even they're a year out-of-date by the time they're released. But it's dumb to complain about all that record company bullshit... As far as I'm concerned the whole record trip was our mistake."

He's still a little enthusiastic about Wake of the Flood, though: "We finally made a record better than we play.... But then again, I can't really look at them. When I listen to my songs I'm listening to myself talking to myself. As far as I'm concerned, it's a closed conversation. I'm not that fascinated with my own work."

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Poster: barongsong Date: Jul 8, 2009 11:36pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Garcia Talks About Wake of the Flood and Free Music, 1973

Very interesting interview and commentary. Thanks for the link. One thing that had me baffled though was this comment,
"Their hardcore San Francisco audience may still be locked into a 1967 consciousness, but the Grateful Dead operation is Big Business and strictly 1974. Why, Weir and Garcia have even been known to sport Nudie suits on stage every now and then."
What the heck is a Nudie suit and does anyone have a picture of them wearing one.

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Jul 9, 2009 12:18am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Garcia Talks About Wake of the Flood and Free Music, 1973

See the cover of The Flying Burrito Brothers' Gilded Palace of Sin; Wilco just wore Nudie suits on Conan the other week.

Noticed some of those links below were now dead (pun intended); here's one of the best current live acts sporting nudie suits:

I can't stop - more nudie info:

and i'm not sure i've ever seen a picture of porter wagoner where he wasn't wearing a nudie suit; stumbled across this while looking for a pic:

RIP: Porter Wagoner
Submitted by bizgrrl on Mon, 2007/10/29 - 8:49am.

Porter Wagoner has gone to his maker. He was 80.

Many Tennesseans, of a certain age, will definitely remember Mr. Wagoner and his TV show. He brought Dolly Parton along with a lot of great country/western/gospel music to our living rooms. Apparently he influenced the Grateful Dead as well.

"We (the Dead) were getting off of that psychedelic run that we were on,” said Hunter, who watched the show each week with Garcia in Northern California. “We had evolved from bluegrass and old-timey bands, but what we didn’t know was country & western, or whatever it was that Dolly and Porter were doing. So a little bit of Nashville moved into the Bay Area, and it was like nothing I’d ever seen.”

Hunter eventually made his way backstage at the Opry, where he told that story to Mr. Wagoner, who smiled and said, “Well, I never did hear nothing by that Grateful Dead that I didn’t like.”

H/T Sharon Cobb.

.... and now I bid you goodnight...

This post was modified by bluedevil on 2009-07-09 06:52:25

This post was modified by bluedevil on 2009-07-09 07:08:47

This post was modified by bluedevil on 2009-07-09 07:18:03

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Poster: barongsong Date: Jul 9, 2009 5:29am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Garcia Talks About Wake of the Flood and Free Music, 1973

Hey cool thanks. I was half thinking it was going to be a suit that makes you look like your naked. Like those t shirts you sometimes see. This makes way more sense now, har.

Hear is the pic that Earl B posted in one of your links {first time doing a pic here hope it works}

This post was modified by barongsong on 2009-07-09 12:29:10

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Poster: skuzzlebutt Date: Jul 8, 2009 6:01am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Garcia Talks About Wake of the Flood and Free Music, 1973

Nice work as per usual, Ashes.

Funny how we never heard these quotes about "fuck 'people's music'" mentioned when folks around here were throwing temper tantrums over the boards getting yanked. All we got then were endless reminders of that worn out "when we're done with [the music] they can have it" line.

As usual w/Garcia, his views were far more contradictory and complex than people want to acknowledge.

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Poster: ducats Date: Jul 8, 2009 5:42am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Garcia Talks About Wake of the Flood and Free Music, 1973

"I'm not that fascinated with my own work" is why he's Jerry.